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5 Healthy Recipes You Can Bring To Christmas Dinner

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Christmas is just around the corner, and we all know it means – Santa Claus is coming to town,  but so is the probability of falling off the health wagon!

Christmas for those who celebrate can be a time of fun, family, and festivities. Statistically, though, the holidays are also synonymous with mindless eating and our natural rhythms going out of whack. It’s easy to get carried away when you are having fun. Especially after the last two years of living in isolation, time spent with family and friends is incredibly important for our mental well-being.

It’ equally important to take care of our physical health as well. Overeating, consuming empty calories, too much sugar, lack of sleep, and hydration – all of these can cause damage to our health in the long run, not to mention the sluggishness that comes after days of not taking care of ourselves. The effects of going off track during the holidays are therefore seen both in the short and long term.

Now, we don’t mean to say that you should become a social pariah and avoid having fun altogether! After all, YOLO, right? Healthy eating during the holidays doesn’t have to be a dreaded topic that you want to run away from, and in this post, we’ll list five of our favorite recipes that are both healthy and festive. So, pull up a chair and join us as we serve you some delicious, mouthwatering Christmas treats, straight from The Whole Experience kitchen!

Eggplant Turkey Lasagna

Prep Time: 30 mins      Cook Time: 1hr 20 mins      Number of servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 14 oz organic lean ground turkey
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 oz ricotta cheese
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 28 oz can fresh organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup organic mozzarella cheese
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper and 6-10 slices of fresh basil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with sea salt on both sides and let sit for 10 minutes to draw out moisture. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess liquid.
  3. Lightly grease a pan/griddle with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and heat over medium heat. Pan fry or grill the eggplant slices for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until it darkens. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In a separate pot, with 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, begin to cook the turkey. As it browns, add garlic, chopped tomato, and spices. Stir until cooked.
  5. To assemble the lasagne, in a 9×13-inch baking dish, add enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish and spread in an even layer. Add a layer of eggplant slices, covering the bottom of the dish completely. It’s okay if the eggplant slices overlap slightly. Add a thin layer of the ricotta cheese and turkey meat mixture.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, finishing with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle the mozzarella and fresh basil on top Bake for 30-40 minutes and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Mexican Zucchini Burrito Boats

Prep time: 15 mins     Cook time: 32 mins    Serving size: 2

Ingredients 

  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1/2 can of black bean, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked 
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. (4 oz) lean ground turkey or meat substitute (tofu/tempe)
  • 1 jalapeno, or poblano pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cheddar/Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out the center of each zucchini. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil, place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
  2. Warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add turkey cook until browned. Add the rice, corn, and beans along with the salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Sprinkle each one with cheese then arrange them in the dish and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove the foil and set the oven to broil. Cook them for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Red Lentil & Kale Curry

Prep time: 15 mins      Cook time: 30 mins     Serving: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh kale, tightly packed 
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup red lentil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 cups cauliflower rice, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (mild)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, fine
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups water 

Directions

  1. Use a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat. Sauté the veggies for 10 minutes
  2. To the cooked vegetables, add in the curry, ginger, salt, and lentils and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and cover to cook until the lentils are tender (about 15 to 20 minutes). Stir in the coconut milk, kale, and season to taste.
  4. Serve warm over cauliflower rice, cooked, and squeeze the lemon wedge on top, if desired.

Rosemary Roasted Chicken Dinner

Prep time: 15 mins     Cook time: 55 mins     Serving: 2

Ingredients

  • Two cups of chopped mixed vegetables of choice (for example: sweet potato, onions, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix vegetables with olive oil and seasoning.
  2. Bake on a sheet lined with parchment paper at 450°F/ 230°C, for 30-45 minutes, stir every 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grill or bake your chicken, season to taste.
  4. Plate chicken with roasted vegetables, enjoy!

Butternut Squash, Kale & Quinoa Stew

Prep time: 20 mins     Cook time: 40 mins     Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

       1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft               (about 4 minutes).
       2. Add the butternut squash, another pinch of salt, and stir. Let the butternut squash cook for a few minutes, then stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander,                     paprika, and red pepper flakes.
       3. Add the white wine vinegar and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, broth, and quinoa. Cover and simmer until the butternut squash         is tender and the quinoa is cooked through about 20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, I like to taste and adjust seasonings. Add additional spices         if you like.
       4. When the soup is nearly done, stir in the kale and navy beans and cook about 5 minutes more, or until the kale is wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings as             needed.

Let us know which is your favorite recipe out of the above five! We wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year from all of us at The Whole Experience. Have fun and take care of yourself! ☺

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